Be Glad You Missed the Grateful Grannies

That’s the name a neighbor and I chose for our karaoke duo—see, we’re grey-haired ladies singing Grateful Dead songs in front of strangers, and not well, either. So we had to make fun of ourselves from the get-go.

Did you know that if you type in the name of a song on YouTube plus “karaoke,” you’ll get a video of the lyrics highlighted as the song plays, plus vocals muted? Your very own karaoke set-up. I learned this from the guy living next door to us who is a karaoke king. He runs a night in the rec room with not just his iPad though: he has multiple microphones and two big speakers that light up in neon to the beat of your song. Seriously. And he’s legendary at singing, of course!

So, while I was sitting on the porch of another neighbor during a wine party (aka ladies drinking sweet stuff and gossiping), we grabbed him as he drove his golf cart by and made him promise to hold karaoke night for us. Problem is, your brilliant idea of singing Grateful Dead songs with the stranger drinking next to you all afternoon long is not so brilliant when the day of reckoning comes.

My partner and I did okay. We picked songs that are more story-telling than singing because we have no idea how to harmonize, and we ended up ditching one of them in favor of just Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried.” Which suits the Grannie theme pretty well! We belted out, ”I turned 21 in prison, doing life without parole” which is one of my favorite lines ever.

Oh my, karaoke night was interesting. Our host sang brilliantly, with range and emotion and dramatic gestures and everything, doing Hallelujah as his finale. His sister sang in a more subdued manner, but she nailed Stevie Nicks. Several older guys were pretty hammered that night and got up bravely to sing, although they mumbled into the mic inaudibly in Spanish. I guess we should be thankful for that. What broke my heart was when an older couple got up to dance, arm in arm, very sweetly. This place has its drawbacks, but a lack of community isn’t one of them.

Hot Hot Hot

I shouldn’t complain, but it’s been especially hot here as we’re wrapping up our to-do lists so we’re ready to leave in a couple of weeks. Tracy’s been checking the truck spare tire, reinforcing the trailer undercarriage, and securing his fishing rods, all in preparation for the Alaska trip.

I’ve been sitting around longing for the beach.

We went one day to the more touristy South Padre Island, and we couldn’t find a small beach bar to sit at, but this one right next to the “largest beach bar in Texas” was nice enough. $2 draft beers at happy hour, plus a pair of guys on guitar entertaining the retired Winter Texans staying in the associated hotel. I think we’ll even go back today; it’ll be 20 degrees cooler at the beach than here in Brownsville. And really, $2 beers?!?

The Winter Decision, Again!

We still don’t know for sure where we’ll be next winter. Brownsville has its good sides: we enjoy Charro Days and the rodeo and being 30 minutes from the beach.

We’ve eaten so many tacos that we’re getting tired of them, if you can imagine. We are surrounded by $1 tacos that are delicious, and we’d kill for some Thai food.

We spent a couple of afternoons driving around looking at other RV parks, but either they’re dumpy like the one we’re in, or they’re expensive and way out of town. Basically we’re facing the urban versus rural dilemma. In-town parks are small and crowded, but they’re just a bike ride from cool places, and they’re old, so they have grass and trees and so many birds. The ones built farther out have much larger sites that are neater, but no trees, no town to bike to, no character. We better decide fast, too. All the parks are getting booked for next winter.

So, that’s the news from Brownsville. Oh yeah! That top photo is of me practicing ukulele in the community center of the park; I did play and sing several songs on karaoke night (without the actual karaoke part). I was so nervous and so weirded out by using a microphone for the first time that I have no idea how I sounded.

Banjo and Tracy are proud of me, though.

8 thoughts to “Be Glad You Missed the Grateful Grannies”

  1. My karaoke fallback is thr B-52s… funky little shack! And there’s no such thing as too many tacos!

    1. I bet you’re great at karaoke, though! And maybe you’re right about the tacos. Yummmm